Former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, whose memoir, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” comes out today, told CNN that former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter, Ivanka Trump, saw themselves as a “shadow president and first lady.”
“He would dive into these areas where I know he had absolutely no expertise. And, you know, claim to save the day and then he would leave. And, you know, there was a running joke in the White House that when things were getting really tough they suddenly disappeared on vacations,” Grisham said of Kushner, whom she described as “heady with power.”
“He was tough to deal with and I think he got really heady with power. I do not think he left there the best version of himself,” she added.
Grisham noted that while she believes Kushner is “intelligent,” Ivanka is “the brains” and “the smarter one” who is able, unlike her father, to project a calm and controlled image.
Kushner and Ivanka also often inserted themselves into foreign processions in an inappropriate manner, recalling that on the administration’s final foreign trip to India, Ivanka and Kushner were negotiating what stops the administration would make and were part of the tour that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump.
“They were always right there and it was really inappropriate. And that would make Mrs. Trump upset because she is a big rule follower in terms of protocol and whatnot, and it was just really inappropriate,” Grisham said.
Jared Kushner "would dive into these areas where I know he had absolutely no expertise and … claim to save the day, and then he would leave," ex-Trump Press Sec. Stephanie Grisham says. "I believe that he and Ivanka kind of thought they were a shadow president and first lady." pic.twitter.com/0cGX68JxTg
— New Day (@NewDay) October 5, 2021
In her book, Grisham describes Kushner as “Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit.”
She recalls that when it was decided that Trump should address the nation in regard to Covid-19, that Kushner had worked with Trump’s speechwriter and “dictated” what Trump would say.
“Katie Miller, an aide to the vice president, was married to speechwriter Stephen Miller. So she went into Stephen’s office and sat there while Jared Kushner frantically dictated the address to Stephen, who wrote something out,” Grisham wrote, adding that she grew increasingly “outraged” at Kushner’s behavior.
“He was not an expert on any of those things — shutting down borders, the economic consequences, the health consequences — yet he alone seemed to be deciding the nation’s first actions to address one of the most devastating crises in our history,” she wrote.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.